Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Potpouri From the Desert

Yesterday was the weddin' ceremony for Fiona Trambeau's step-mother Ginny and her much-younger man-friend Pablo (or Pancho or Paco or whatever). The day began at Ginny's double-wide (upper photo) where we all downed a couple of warm Cuba Libres made with Tab instead of Coca-Cola before we schlepped en masse over to the arty-farty outdoor venue (lower photo)where the nuptials went down without a hitch unless you call Fiona's drunk and senile Aunt Velma blurting out "Oh no you dit'nt!" just as Ginny said "I do" a hitch.

The reception–which was "catered" by the Circle K–was long and alcohol-fueled so Your Mama and Fiona are both quite a bit worse for the wear today. We are also, still and alas, without an internet connection back at the ranch so we've returned to the Star-damn-bucks in Yucca Valley where we're suckin' the life out of a double-caf-twice-salted-frappa-misty-mocha thing so we can bring the children a wee morsel from the desert to keep their celebrity real estate appetites whetted.

Now on to the business at hand...

In January 2009, supermodel turned media mogul Tyra Banks bought four contiguous condos on two floors at the newly constructed The Riverhouse in New York City's Battery Park neighborhood. Property records reveal the catwalker coughed up $10,131,587 for her quartet of units that are currently being combining into one large, celebrity-style doo-plex extravaganza.

The problem is, Miss T.Y.R.A. hasn't even moved in to her new doo-plex and she's already worked the last nerve of some of her new neighbors who are nine kinds of pissed off over the long and loud renovation. Building residents are so lathered up over the "unbearable" and "ear-rattling" clamor that they've requested $100,000 in compensation for their aural inconveniences. Miss Banks has not, reportedly, coughed up the compensation cash but she will be forced to pay penalties–presumably levied by the building–that add up for every day her renovation runs past schedule.

Miss Banks' building offers its well-heeled residents a media café (whatever the hell that is), fitness center, yoga studio, 50-foot lap pool, children's playroom, 24-hour doorman and concierge services, bicycle storage, private pet grooming area and, for additional fees, on-site parking and storage space.

Last September out and proud actor T.R. Knight heaved his historic 1930s Tudor-style pile in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, CA on the market with an asking price of $3,995,000. The property endured two price chaps but remained unsold until December of 2010 when Redfin indicated it was de-listed.

Mister Knight must have gotten bit by the real estate serious bug because yesterday he re-listed the 4,518 square foot dwelling, which listing information calls a "French Normandy Chateau," at the much lower and probably far more realistic asking price of $2,700,000.

Not only is that a stunning $1,295,000 less than Mister Knight first wanted but, according to Your Mama's bejeweled abacus, it's $212,000 less than the $2,912,000 he paid for the property in the fall of 2007. Ouch! Probably he's not going to go homeless due to a quarter million dollar loss in the real estate game but that's a lot of money by any standard and surely that much sting like a swarm of bees.

Mister Knight, as far as Your Mama knows, relocated to New York City to reignite his stage career but honestly butter beans we don't know nuthin' about birthin' that baby.

Several weeks ago we discussed the Chicago condo heaved on to the market by nice, gay decorator and Oprah Winfry protegée Nate Berkus. Mister Berkus, who hosts a NYC-based daytime talk show on La Oprah's new eponymous (and brazenly named) OWN network.

Several months (or maybe it was more than a year ago) Mister Berkus allowed some moving cameras into a New York City residence where he resided to have a look-see at how he'd turned the place out. Turns out the apartment shown in the video–located at the sleek and swank Jean Nouvel-designed 100 11th Avenue building–was not and is not owned by Mister Berkus. Word has now slipped down the celebrity gossip grapevine via the Observer that Mister Berkus recently acquired doo-plex digs on the top floors of a Greenwich Village townhouse building (shown above).

Listing information shows the 3 bedroom and 3.5 bathroom condo measures around 3,000 square feet and includes three fireplaces, three sky lights, two petite offices, one floating spiral staircase, one small terrace and 1,200 square feet of private roof rights and a bookcase in the library that swings over to reveal a hidden hallway and (windowless pooper).

The two-floor co-operative apartment–with monthly maintenance of $3,093–was first listed in mid-January 2011 with an asking price of $3,295,000. One month later the property was put into contract and five or six weeks after that Mister Berkus closed escrow for $3,350,000. No, puppies, Your Mama's booze-bloated and hung-over fingers did not make a mistake; Mister Berkus actually paid $55,000 more than the asking price, a somewhat rare occurrence even in New York City.

It's not worth dissing on or discussing the day-core in the listing photos since Mister Berkus is likely to wave his decorating wand over every inch of the doo-plex that property. Perhaps he'll manage to figure out how to get the under-counter washer and dryer out of the kitchen and perhaps into the walk in pantry or, better yet, up on to the second floor of the doo-plex.

listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran
Joshua Tree photos: Your Mama

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